Just last year, the Zimbabwean public was banned from wearing the Zimbabwean flag or any regalia that resembled our symbol of patriotism. It became illegal to be patriotic. Thanks to Pastor Evan Mawarire. Then maybe we need to also thank the military for banning the 'Christmas clothes' of 2016. Military regalia took over Zimbabwe's streets, growth points and other centres of entertainment on 25 December 2016 which left Jah Prayzah and his Millitary Touch Movement looking like less than ordinary people.
On occassions, wearing red has led to arrests, injuries or even deaths. Red is another hated colour by Zimbabwe's overzealous 'patriots'. It is associated with the opposition and our autocratic kleptocracy has an unparalleled loathing for political opponents. Even red ties are banned in schhols according to Dokora's proposals.
Possibility, come-wearing-red-and-bearing-gifts day can be banned. Already in 2013, unarmed women were teargassed, harassed, and arrested simply for doing something on Valentine's Day. 195 WOZA women were bludgeoned with 'button' sticks before being cuffed and then loaded into those grotesque police trucks. Evidently, the control freaks above will use their might (as usual) to quash any event, ideology, festivity or celebration that threatens to pull the rug from under their feet. They see everything from church services to school sports galas through political lenses.
This plot to dampen the whole Valentine's spirit (the commercial aspect) began years ago (and is responsible for many heartbreaks). The sadistic kleptocracy has taken every opportunity to deny people the (buying) power that is a prerequisite for the day to go accordingly. Maybe it's because festivities in February are seen as competing with the earthday of the great Emperor Bob the 1st. (probably the last)
Yes, it's all a foreign concept and it's been commercialised to the extent it's lost meaning, but if we live within the spirit of what it represents, no amount of repression can hinder us from celebrating. We will have to be innovative and make it less about the colour, the gifts or the expensive dinner and more about togetherness and the spirit of love. We all need to love and we all need to be loved.
Even when the threat of Valentine's being banned is real, and our pockets have slimmed to the extent most can't foot the budget, we still can make a change. Forget the red or the scented fake flowers selling on street corners and instead put make an effort to put a smile on someone's face.
For the good of the Republic!